Friday, Sep 29

NXS: Chandler Smith brings home first Xfinity Series win in ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway

NXS: Chandler Smith brings home first Xfinity Series win in ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway NK Photography Photo

On a day plagued by rain in the Richmond area NASCAR would be forced to set the field based on points, setting up the front row for Justin Allgaier on the pole with Sammy Smith to the outside. The pair of drivers would be two of the four running for $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus with Sam Mayer and Daniel Hemric following their finish last weekend at COTA.

Allgaier would take the green flag but his lead would be short lived as Sammy Smith would take over the lead on lap three of the race just as Joe Graf Jr. would get into the wall with a flat tire. NASCAR would allow the race to stay green as Graf would make it to pit road to make repairs to the car.

Struggles would continue for Allgaier as Hemric and Mayer both running for the bonus would get around the No. 7 machine, eventually dropping back to eighth as the competition caution would draw close.

The first caution of the day would come out for a pre-scheduled competition caution yet race leader Sammy Smith and teammate John Hunter Nemechek would stay out under the caution. The decision would haunt both drivers as they would immediately get rolled over by the field with Herbst taking the lead from Smith.

Both Nemechek and Sammy Smith would continue to lose positions before getting lapped by the new leader C. Smith who had just taken control of the race from Herbst. When the caution would come out to end the first stage Nemechek would be the free pass leaving S. Smith still a lap down.

Stage one would be won by C. Smith over Herbst, B. Jones, Berry and Custer rounding out the top-five.

Herbst would lead the field off pit road to take over the lead to start stage two before C. Smith would run down Herbst on lap 103 to take back the lead.

Nemechek who would get the free pass under the caution would move into the top-20 then begin to pick off another dozen or so cars to get well inside the top-10 as stage two laps would begin to wind down.

With nine laps to go in stage two Josh Berry would take over the lead from C. Smith. Within laps Anthony Alfredo would blow a tire to get into the wall off turn two but make it back to pit road without the help of a caution. Alfredo would be forced to take the car to the garage with damage and a fire under the right front of the car.

Berry would continue to lead the rest of the way in the stage to take home his first stage win of the year over B. Jones, Herbst, C. Smith and Custer to round out the top-five in the stage.

On the restart for the final stage Jones would battle Berry would get a challenge for the lead from B. Jones who used the outside line to clear for the lead on lap 162. C. Smith would follow in the tire tracks of Jones to get around Berry for second.

Nemechek, who at one point early in the race was a lap down due to a decision not to pit and take tires, would continue to work himself up the field into the third spot. Berry would go back to work on Jones for the lead, eventually catching and passing the No. 9 machine with 64 laps to go.

Caution would come out for the fourth time of the day when Jeremy Clements would lose power on track, coasting all the way around the track before stopping on pit road.

Berry would fire off on the restart following the caution but it would be John Hunter Nemechek who would use the outside line to take back the lead. However, this wouldn’t last as Jones and Herbst would get together just a lap later to bring out the fifth caution of the day.

While coming to 10 to go caution would once again come out for the sixth time of the day when Graf would send Moffitt spinning.

On the final restart of the day Chandler Smith and Nemechek would go at it before Smith cleared with three laps to go all the way to the checkered flag to take home his first NASCAR Xfinity Series victory over Nemechek, Berry, Grala and Custer to round out the top-five.

Smith wouldn’t be the only winner of the day as Justin Allgaier would beat out three others to finish in 13th position but good enough to take home the first Dash 4 Cash $100,000 bonus of the season.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series will take a week off before moving onto Martinsville Speedway on April 15th at 7:30 p.m. ET.



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